Palestinian games, from Glass stones to Hopscotch, these games connect children and adults of Palestine with their Indian counterparts
Every society has a set of transmitted cultural legacies that reflect the nature of society and its way of life. Popular games are an integral part of the culture and heritage, and these popular games maybe viewed by some as a mere means of fun, entertainment and leisure that children resort to alleviate the harshness and difficulties of life. Palestinian games are shared with India
However, the truth is that these games contribute to the development of the child’s personality, and the whole family can participate in this. Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the continuous electricity outages, the games have spread greatly. In November, many competitions were being conducted to relieve psychological pressure on children in light of the worse circumstances in Palestine, especially Gaza.
Most of the games played in Palestine involve two teams wherein both the teams toss a coin or stone. The ones who win the toss are allowed to play first, of course.
Glass Stone (Kelol) Game
This game is played by adults and children alike and if you go through the streets of Palestine, you will find groups of children and adults in every corner racing to play and win the largest amount of Kelols. They draw a triangle on the sand, put many Kelols in it, and start hitting the target. The winner is the one who gets all the Kelols.
Al-Koura or Al-Tshora Game
Children practice this game on a flat ground free of stones or pits, and its tools are a stick in the hand of each player and a ball or semi-ball of tin or cans, pressed against each other until it takes form of a small ball. This game is similar to hockey.
Ruler and Executioner Game
It is played by children and adults by sitting together on mats in a circle in the yard. Three pieces of paper are prepared in a square shape and the children write words like a thief, ruler, and executioner on the cards. The game starts with a toss to see who starts throwing the cards first. Then the one who wins the toss will throw the cards up, then they will select the cards randomly. The ruler determines the type of beating and says light, medium, or “from the bottom” meaning the painful beating.
This game creates funny and joyful moments due to hilarious but painful beatings which also strengthens their friendship.
Bee and Wasp Game
This game consists of two children or two people standing close to each other back-to-back, letting each of them have both their hands backward and in an artistic way to intertwine at the point of the arms. They start playing by spinning in a circle and when one of them raises the other on his back, he repeats, “I am the bee,” then his team mate goes down to the ground so that the other raises him on his back and says, “I am the wasp.” And he takes it down a second time to be carried by his team mate while repeating “To Istanbul.”
Al-Hjelle (Hopscotch) Game
It is only played by girls. The girls draw a castle on the sand, interspersed with circles and squares and they throw the stone on the first square and then jump. This game is considered one of the most popular games in Palestine.
These games let children use their creativity while nurturing their imagination, physical and emotional strength and proficiency in skills.
It is because of these games’ children at a very young age interact and engage in the world around them. These games also reflect Palestine’s cultural heritage and try to preserve it for future generations.